Disney sent a tremor through the Force today with the announcement that it's closing developer LucasArts and halting all projects. Game Informer reports the entertainment giant is shifting the company it bought last year "from internal development to a licensing model" as well as laying off the majority of its staff.
Disney's recent acquisition of Lucasfilm scored it more than the Star Wars franchise: it also picked up LucasArts and its catalog of games, including Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion, landmarks of Double Fine designer Ron Gilbert's career. While discussing his current project, The Cave (and his thoughts on The Walking Dead), I asked Gilbert how he felt about his work being under Disney's control.
Every week, Richard Cobbett rolls the dice to bring you an obscure slice of gaming history, from lost gems to weapons grade atrocities. This week, it's the TV show even many adventurers thought was only a joke - the Lucasarts classic that went from the smallest screen to... a slightly bigger one.
One of the many puzzles in Day of the Tentacle, the 1993 sequel to the 1987 adventure Maniac Mansion, is fixing a broken down time machine by getting enough money to replace the diamond at its core. The hero, geeky teenager Bernard, blinks at this, asking the mansion's owner, crotchety mad scientist Dr. Fred Edison, why he needs to bother. The guy owns a mansion. Isn't he already rich enough to just order one? Sadly, it turns out not. Not only is Dr. Fred broke, he's never even seen a penny from a big TV show that was made about his family, due to him forgetting to return the contract.
Fixing that problem with time-travel makes for a fun comedy puzzle, but when I first solved it, I figured that was all it was. Like most non-Canadians/Americans, I had no idea that the TV show he was talking about actually existed. But did we miss out, or escape? Let's finally find out...